Just when we thought the 2021 maple season was a wild ride never to be (hopefully) repeated, 2022 did not hold back with surprises of its own. My best way to sum it up…it felt like we were clinging to a weather yo-yo.
Pre-season was full of the normal upkeep and maintenance as well as transitioning a few production lines that had been 3/16″ over to 5/16″.
We got fully tapped less than 24 hours before the season’s first run which was good, but not quite the huge run of last year’s initial burst of activity. The big weather event of mid-February that left deep snow over much of northern Ohio certainly played a role in keeping the ground frozen.
As the season progressed, sugar levels came up from a rather low initial level, but the big warm fronts interspersed with cold weather and few more harsh freezes created a topsy turvy season. The ice event in late February was not a huge interruption, but it did result in some strange runs for the week following. It did make for some great photo opps though!
Interspersed with daily sap measurements, we hosted a few outreach events to showcase the research sugarbush and were surprised at the repeated warm fronts that sped the syrup season to an early close. Our woods were done on March 17th!
As we close down the woods and complete post-season clean up, we look forward to diving into a second year of data collected for the ACER research objectives.